Monday, December 10, 2018

Scaling Mount Kinabalu in Borneo

This past weekend, Jessica and I celebrated our first anniversary by hiking Mount Kinabalu in Borneo. Though challenging it was well worth it - the view from above the clouds is epic!

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Introducing the Bulawayo Marketplace

The Bulawayo Marketplace is a dedicated e-commerce site equipped with delivery options for Bulawayo-based customers. The Marketplace provides an alternative platform for those in the diaspora to support their families while helping local business, and generating employment opportunities for unemployed youth.

We are still finalizing the back-end and we should be live soon!

Watch this space for details!!

Partner with us:

Country Manager: Cyprian Ndlovu

The marketplace also delivers:

Monday, May 22, 2017

Malaysia at a Cross Roads: Diagnosing the Constraints to High Income Status

In 2008, Malaysia was recognized by the Growth Commission – a distinguished panel comprising 2 Nobel Prize Winning Economists and other leading development practitioners – as one of thirteen countries that sustained high growth in the post-war period. The 30-year stretch that caught the attention of the Growth Commission was between 1967 and 1997 when Malaysia grew at an average of 7.3% per year. This long stretch of growth was interrupted by periods of external shocks including the Volcker shock of 1986, the Asian Financial crisis in 1997/8, the so-called Dot Com Bubble of 2001, and more recently the Global Financial Crisis of 2008. Despite these shocks, Malaysia remained resilient - formally earning the tittle - Upper Middle Income Country - in 1992.

As everyone looks to the High-Income classification in 2020 my colleagues and I have written a book that takes stock of Malaysia's impressive growth since independence. We look at the drivers thereof and potential constraints going forward. The book, “Malaysia at a Cross Roads: Diagnosing the Constraints to High Income Status” helps structure a discussion on macroeconomic risks and other potential hurdles to continued growth.

We find that the momentum underlying Malaysia’s growth has been forward-looking government policies and an increasingly involved private sector. New growth drivers will however be needed to complement ongoing efforts under the National Transformation Program and to sustain growth beyond 2020. Coordinating towards an innovation-led model means a greater role for risk capital to facilitate discovery of new engines of growth. An increasingly vigilant fiscal and monetary framework will help insulate Malaysia from external volatility – limiting the impact of interruptions on the population. The book further recommends greater regional and state-level approaches to understanding growth drivers to ensure transformation is felt at the local level.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Why Information Grows: My Thoughts

It is not an overstatement to say that this is THE book to read if you want to learn anything about an emerging view of why and how countries grow.

A key take-away for me is the importance of assessing development, not in terms of what people can buy, but instead what people can make. This knowledge and know-how, Cesar describes, is embodied in the products that countries exchange with each other. He thus proposes a new way of thinking about international trade as really an exchange of crystals of imagination (i.e., the products that embody knowledge and know-how). 

As to why some places exhibit more "imagination" or crystalization thereof (or make more sophisticated products) he offers an explanation grounded on the difficulties of fostering "links" to create dense networks from which individual "personbytes" can be combined to make more imaginative products. Transaction costs make it difficult to bring knowledge and know-how together. Things like a common language help lower these costs and allow diverse people from across the world to collaborate at places like Harvard and MIT to bring new products to life.

A must read!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Testing Bokeh Python Library

Below is a visualization of unemployment rates by county using a powerful Python library called Bokeh. The two maps are for the states of Texas and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

As the second largest economy in the United States (10th largest in the world), Texas shows interesting county variation in macroeconomic factors such as unemployment. According to Wikipedia, in 2015, Texas was home to six of the top 50 companies on the Fortune 500 list and 51 overall (third most after New York and California). The northern counties were least affected by the financial crisis of 2008/09. Dallas–Fort Worth–Arlington area encompasses 13 counties which constitute the economic and cultural hub of the region commonly called North Texas or North Central Texas. Bokeh Plot
The least affected counties in Massachusetts were the southernmost tourist areas of Nantuckett and Dukes County. The County of Dukes County consists of 11 islands off the southeast coast of Massachusetts, within sight of Cape Cod. More than 99 percent of the County’s population lives on the largest island, Martha’s Vineyard, an international tourist destination and vacation-home resort. Bokeh Plot